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MLS Roundup Week 22: Favorable Winds

The M in MLS stands for Magic

Charlotte FC v Toronto FC Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Wait, the Chicago Fire is good?

Three wins in a row, and now the Fire are just a few points away from the promised land of the playoffs. But, of course, it helps that the rest of the bottom feeders of the Eastern Conference are also foundering, assisting the Fire in maintaining their position on the table.

So while most of you guys were out celebrating, this is what you may have missed from the rest of the league.

NYCFC 2 - 0 Inter Miami

It isn’t hard to beat a team coached by Phil Neville; combine that with playing out on a ballpark, then you can see why Sean Johnson now has 11 shutouts this season.

Maxi Moralez provided the first goal of the game in the 12th minute after missing his previous attempt just a minute prior. Then, 20 minutes later, Valentin Castellanos thought he scored the game’s second goal, but VAR had other things on mind. Miami had some chances throughout the game, but the Milkman quickly nullified any shot toward him. Heber finished off the game with the actual second goal of the game in the 75th minute.

Orlando City 0 - 1 Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union continues their dominance over the Eastern Conference with a narrow 1-0 win against Orlando City.

But a win is a win, regardless of the score line.

After winning a corner in the 39th minute, the guests scored the game’s lone goal, thanks to Daniel Gazdag. And as with any good football team out there, the Union was able to close out the game with that single goal. However, despite Orlando’s dominance in the stat department, they couldn’t fend off Philly’s reliance on the pitch.

Columbus Crew 0 - 0 New England Revolution

This game was pretty wretched, but it worked out in favor of the Chicago Fire points-wise.

Despite the Crew’s dominance out on the field, the game ended in a stalemate. The Crew had 17 shots but couldn’t muster anything from it, same with New England’s five shots towards goal.

There were some close attempts, especially from the Crew, but despite New England’s lack of ability to score that night (mainly due to the absence of Gustavo Bou), they were able to defend the host’s attack from dealing any damage.

FC Cincinnati 1 - 1 Nashville

If you can win, grind out a draw!

That seems to be Cincinnati’s motto as of late, as they have drawn four times in the past five games. After winning a corner early in the match, Nashville scored first in the 6th minute, thanks to Teal Bunbury - who I keep forgetting he plays for that team now.

The stats show that Cincinnati was determined to fight back despite being a goal down. They were dominant against a strong Nashville side throughout the match. They eventually got their break thanks to a Brandon Vasquez header in the 52nd minute.

Toronto FC 4 - 0 Charlotte

How bad must Charlotte be if they allow Michael Bradley to score twice on them?

Jonathan Osorio scored first for the hosts in the 4th minute with an excellent goal towards the right corner. Then, a few minutes later, they nearly doubled their lead. However, Bradley rectified those early misses with a header in the 10th minute. Finally, Toronto got their third goal in the 31st minute from Federico Bernardeschi.

Lorenzo Insigne, who Toronto recently signed from the 2006/2007 Serie B Champions Juventus, assisted Bradley, who scored the game’s fourth goal, confirming Toronto’s win for the day.

D.C. United 1 - 2 Montreal

D.C. United continues towards its slide towards obscurity with a 2-1 loss against a foot club from Montreal.

Rowell Quioto stunned D.C. faithful early on with a goal within the first minute. A few moments later, Djordie Mihailovic (remember him?) won a free kick, but Montreal didn’t capitalize on that chance. Quioto scored again 34 minutes later, giving the visitors a comfortable lead.

D.C. cut its deficit in half when Steven Birnbaum scored a header in the 56th minute, giving some of their fans hope. But like with all of their recent games as of late, D.C. wouldn’t have anything to show for it and ultimately ended up falling short.

Houston Dynamo 1 - 2 Minnesota United

Another example of a dominant team on the stat sheet, but there was nothing to show for at the end of the day. At the end of the match, Houston had 73% of the possession and 22 shots but still fell 2-1 to the Loons. Franco Fragapane scored first towards the end of the first half for the visitors. Fragapane’s goal was assisted by Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who would later make his mark in the game in the second half. He got his first MLS goal in the 72nd minute, which confirmed their win for the day.

Houston got their consolation goal in the 85th minute when Fafà Picault scored.

Sporting Kansas City 0 - 2 LAFC

There are no surprise storylines here.

This season, a dominant LAFC and a Sporting Kansas City team that has lost their way is a typical MLS plot. Cristian Arango scored first in the 56th minute, while former Southampton winger Gareth Bale notched his first MLS goal in the 83rd minute.

Seattle Sounders 2 - 1 Colorado Rapids

It looked like the current champions of CONCACAF were about to go on a losing streak when Jonathan Lewis scored early on in the game to give Colorado the lead within three minutes.

It took Seattle 40 minutes to equalize when Jordan Morris scored from a set-piece situation. Shortly after the start of the second half, Kelyn Rowe was sent off after receiving his second yellow of the game for time-wasting. In the 69th minute (nice), a penalty was awarded to Seattle after a foul, and Nicolas Lodeiro stepped up to the plate, and cooly converted it, giving Seattle the game’s winning goal.

LA Galaxy 2 - 0 Atlanta United

Fire fans should thank the Galaxy for once, as their 2-0 win against Atlanta has temporarily helped the Fire maintain their position on the table. Kevin Cabral scored in the 7th minute to give the Galaxy the early lead.

Despite Atlanta retaining more possession throughout the match, their lack of finishing cost them the game. They must be taking lessons from a former Fire striker or something. Dejan Joveljic all but confirmed Atlanta’s loss of the night with a last-moment goal in the game's dying stages.

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